South Male Atoll is a popular diving region in the Maldives, on the eastern side of the island nation. It is separated from North Male Atoll due to administrative purposes, yet remains a primary destination for scuba divers and dive safari enthusiasts on holiday in the Maldives. Many of the world’s best dive sites are found in South Male Atoll as it boasts amazing landscapes and is bursting with exotic marine life making the dive excursions very memorable and exciting.
A scuba diver navigates a cave entrance in South Male Atoll
TOTAL ISLANDS: 30
ISLANDS IN SOUTH MALE ATOLL:
Eboodhoofinolhu, Eboodhoo, Fushidhiggaru Falhu, Gulhi, Gulhiggaathuhuraa, Dhigufinolhu, Veligandu Huraa, Boduhuraa, Vammaafushi, Maafushi, Makunugushi, Biyadhoo, Viligilivaru, Kandoomaafushi, Guraidhoo, Lhosfushi, Madhoo, Kudafinolhu, Bodufinolhu, Olhuveli, Ehurah Huraa, Oligandufinolhu, Mahaana Elhi Huraa, Tholhimaraahuraa, Fihalhohi, Rannalhi, Vaagili, Kalhuhuraa, Maniyafushi, Bolifushi, Velassaru, Vaadhoo
South Male Atoll is 36 km in length, and around 19 km wide. It contains a total of 30 islands, 3 of which are inhabited, 10 of them are uninhabited, and a further 17 are resort islands. The administrative capital of South Male Atoll is Maafushi, situated on the eastern end of the island. The capital Maafushi is a well known fishing island, and on top of the beautiful topography and abundant fish life, there is also a prison and the State Trading Organization center here.
Map of South Male Atoll - Maldives
South Male Atoll is separated from North Male Atoll by the Vaadhoo Kandu channel, which is around 4.5 km wide and can be extremely turbulent and choppy in times of bad weather. Tourists landing in the primary Maldives airport in Male can choose between sea-plane, speedboat and engine-dhoani for transfers to other islands and resorts, depending on the distance.
The Vaadhoo kandu channel separating the North and South Male Atoll has a depth of 500 meters and can be very tumultuous on occasion. The current streams recorded have been known to exceed four knots, making the channel a popular spot for thrill-seeking scuba divers. To check the live weather in South Male Atoll, the Maldives Marine life as well as popular dive sites in the area, check out the folowing links.
South Male Atoll also boasts numerous world famous dive sites like Embudhoo Kandu, Cocoa Corner, Kandooma Thila and many more; therefore it is no surprise that this Maldives atoll has become a firm favorite for scuba divers and tourists visiting the Maldives on holiday. There are many caves, steep drop-offs and swim throughs around South Male Atoll; the western end has 12 channels, while the eastern side contains six channels providing for very exhilarating and long drift dives.
A marine life photo of an oriental sweetlip by a cave entrance in Cocoa Corner, South Male Atoll
There are two primary channels in South Male Atoll, Velassaru Kandu in the north and Hathikolhu Kandu in the south. The depths inside the atoll are generally between 35 and 45 meters, making dive excursions a pleasurable experience for both experienced and novice scuba divers. There are two extended barrier reefs on the outer eastern side of the Atoll; Maadhoo Falhu spanning 14.5 km, and the 10.5 km long Fushidiggarui Falhu, which is also the most eastern point in South Male Atoll.
Popular Dive Sites in South Male Atoll:
- Cocoa Corner
- Embudhoo Kandu - Embudhoo Thila
- Guraidhoo Kandu
- Kandooma Thila